Defence Policy

Polish Ministry of Defence Decides to Procure French IMINT Satellites

Photo. Polish MoD

Head of the Polish MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak announced on 23rd March, via his social media channels, that Poland will soon reinforce its reconnaissance capabilities - with new satellite IMINT assets. The head of the MoD declared that during the upcoming 6 months, an agreement would be signed concerning 2 EO satellites. The said contract is to involve unspecified French partners.

Mariusz Błaszczak stated that an agreement would be concluded soon, that would result in reinforcement of the state reconnaissance capabilities, thanks to two EO satellites. These are to belong to a broader IMINT constellation, probably taking into account the smaller assets developed in Poland now, with the involvement of the Polish R&D potential and the domestic space industry. The information was also published via the official channels of the Polish MoD.

Even though no specifics were released, regarding the profile of the satellite reconnaissance, the most probable scenario would involve the acquisition of optoelectronic EO satellites with higher spatial resolution - this has been expected within the scope of the assumptions of the government's resolution on the Polish Space Strategy devised in January 2017.

Polish MoD, for some time now, has been announcing that it is interested in the Polish Armed Forces having access to its satellites. In February 2019 Deputy Minister of Defence Wojciech Skurkiewicz admitted, during the assembly of the Senate Defence Commission that Poland seeks access to intelligence as such jointly with the allies. At the same time, he noted that this area is partially confidential. Satellite observation systems make it possible to monitor areas of interest globally, without entering the airspace of other nations, making it possible to gather information relevant for national defence and security.

In parallel, the Polish Ministry of Defence, and the National Centre for Research and Development are working on domestic EO satellites, primarily via the PIAST (Polish ImAging SaTellites) project - as a part of the SZAFIR development programme. The assumption behind that is to make use of the potential created by cooperation between research entities and private businesses, within the scope of developing solutions key for security and defence. As per the declarations made, a particular emphasis is placed here on the recognized national technology gaps.